Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amber Garrard
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

The Stone Valley Community Market, an innovative college/community collaboration, opened in June, 2011 on Main Street in Poultney. Initiated as a student project and completed by a large team of community partners, faculty and students, this cooperative market is a visual reminder of the many ways in which the town and the College are integrated.

Before the Stone Valley Community Market opened, there was no food co-op in town. Townspeople and the campus community recognized the need for a place where consumers could buy fresh, local food. The project got a big boost from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant, thanks to the efforts of the Market's board of directors and Poultney town manager Jonas Rosenthal. GMC President Paul Fonteyn and his wife Marsha also provided both public support and financial assistance: The Fonteyns paid for the property, the former site of DiMaio’s Brown Bag Gourmet. This purchase, along with favorable lease terms, was a time-saver for the local organizers, who had originally planned on undertaking the daunting task of selling shares to purchase the building in a difficult economy.

The Fonteyns purchased the building as interested citizens of the town, and to help provide an opportunity for students to not just volunteer time in an established organization, but to get involved at a grassroots level in construction and renovation, and learn firsthand about marketing and managerial considerations of a new, community-based enterprise.

GMC students and staff, area residents and businesses worked side-by-side to bring the project to fruition. Students in GMC Prof. Lucas Brown’s design & build class developed initial floor plans of the building, and Prof. Brown worked with the Market's building committee to oversee construction. Downtown business Williams Hardware donated the shelving, and several local residents provided tables and chairs, as well as items for a children's play area. Professor Karen Fleming’s MBA marketing class invited Julia Riell, the co-op's general manager, to speak with them about marketing plans for such a project. Residents of SAGE Hall collectively volunteered their time to work on market renovations.

The result is a thriving food cooperative in Poultney which provides access to healthy food in a rural area and a market outlet for local producers, but also a renewed sense of campus-community partnership.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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